If "team" is ever going to mean something more then a collection of talent laden contracts then some force of leadership and will has to bring those egos together and create the shared purpose and common mission that enables and embodies cohesiveness. We were told that the Matrix stood in the way of that unity. We were told that Shaq would bring on-the-court and off-the-court leadership that transcended his funny jokes and big mouth. We were told wrong.
There will be plenty of time for blame, recriminations and armchair punditry about next steps. For now, its time to eat a little crow because the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing you have one.
Hubris is our problem.
We are a marquee team in this league and for us to go down 0-3 is something I didn't even think about." - Amare Stoudemire
So join me Coach "We are the Better Team" in a taste of the black bird. The San Antonio Spurs are not dead as had been otherwise predicted in these pages and the better team came into our house last night and delivered a world-class ass whopping the likes of which I don't recall seeing in a playoff series of this nature.
A word for all you America-first flag waving types who don't think anything great can come from outside our borders - when you are next tempted to deride the French as being soft or cowardly, remember this man . He is a man.
That Frenchman owned our ass last night and the Suns had better come up with an answer to stop him and his amigos that involves team effort. DJ Strawberry isn't going to stop him and The Matrix isn't coming back. It takes a team to stop a team and it takes a leader to build a team.